On 14 November 2014, at a ceremony in front of the Returned Services League in Euroa, the Governor of Victoria unveiled the statues and accompanying information panels that celebrate the lives and sacrifice of three revered men from the Euroa district. Each of them was awarded the Victoria Cross (VC).
Of the men represented life-sized in bronze, the highest ranking was Lieutenant Colonel Maygar VC, DSO, VD. He survived the Boer War, where he was awarded the VC after the courageous rescue of an exhausted, unhorsed comrade at Gelhoutboom, South Africa. His Great War record was also highly distinguished. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) and was three times mentioned in dispatches. He took part in the Gallipoli campaign, but died at Beersheba on 1 November 1917, wounded by a German bomb.
The other men remembered here are Lieutenant (later Major) Fred Tubb VC and Corporal Alex Burton VC. On 9 August 1915, with others, they repelled Turkish troops at Lone Pine and were each awarded the Victoria Cross for their bravery. Tubb died in France on 27 September 1917 from wounds received at Polygon Wood.
In addition to VC Park, Euroa has refurbished an older memorial Avenue of Honour in which bronze plaques with the names and service numbers of those who were killed in the Great War had been placed at the bases of trees. New plantings and plaques replace the original memorials, which had weathered over time.
Towards the northern end of the avenue is an established plane tree, dedicated to the memory of Thomas Liddell, who enlisted on 1 March 1915, aged 18. He was an engineer who won a scholarship to Melbourne High School, where he was a member of the cadets. For a year before his enlistment he had been a member of the Citizen Forces. He was killed near Pozières on 28 July 1916, probably by a shell blast.
Bert West, whose memorial tree is a flowering eucalypt, was also killed near Pozières, possibly by a shell explosion at Sausage Gully, where his battalion, the 22nd, was bivouacked.
Both Maygar and Tubb had substantial local landmarks re-named after them after the war. The Hume Freeway south of Euroa passes over Maygar’s Hill and Tubb’s Hill is easily seen from the road.
A business plan for VC Park in Euroa, including background information about the lives and military careers of Maygar, Tubb and Burton, can be found at: http://static1.squarespace.com/static/50ab007be4b00ef29d01c972/t/515f8d6ae4b05c3081629583/1365216618458/Honouring+Our+Heroes.pdf
The website for VC Park can be found at: http://euroa.org.au/honouring-our-heroes/
Sacred Places: War Memorial in the Australian Landscape, KS Inglis, The Miegunyah Press, (Melbourne University Publishing), 1998.
A report about the unveiling of the statues in November 2014 can be found at: http://www.mmg.com.au/local-news/shepparton/euroa-honours-its-war-heroes-1.83958